ITV to ban on-screen smoking in latest season of Love Island

Tonight sees the return of ITV’s hit show, Love Island, with new singles poised to enter the Majorcan villa in the search of love (and a sizeable cash prize). However, one aspect of the show that won’t have a returning role is smoking.

There will be no on-screen smoking on this year's Love Island
There will be no on-screen smoking on this year's Love Island

Despite the steamy nature of the programme, it was smoking that prompted viewers to complain to Ofcom, the UK's communications regulator. More than half of the complaints received were about the frequent scenes of contestants smoking cigarettes.

As a result, ITV have confirmed there is going to be an on-screen smoking ban this year. Contestants who wish to smoke will have to go to the designated smoking area located outside the villa - which can only be used by one islander at a time.

"Love Island is basically just an 8 week long smoking advert"
@RastelliHal via Twitter

Paula Chadwick, chief executive of Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation, is pleased the programme has taken steps to address the issue:

“The ban on television advertising actually came into effect over half a century ago – in 1965 – and, since then, smoking rates have significantly decline. It was the same again when the billboard and print ban was actioned.

“Yet despite the ban, we still see images of sexy young people smoking on TV, as the tobacco industry use every trick in the book to get their poisonous products onto our screens.

“We applaud ITV for making this decision and snapping shut this ‘advertising’ loophole.”

Throughout its 27-year history, Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation has fought back against the tobacco giants whose products are the leading cause of preventable death in the UK – from instigating and successfully campaigning for a smoking ban in public places to providing the much-needed support to help over 50,000 smokers to quit.

93% of young people said taking part in Cut Films made them more aware of the harm caused by smoking
93% of young people said taking part in Cut Films made them more aware of the harm caused by smoking

It is now engaging with young people throughout the country with its educational programme, Cut Films, to stop tobacco companies recruiting its next generation of customers as Paula explains:

“Our Cut Films project aims to help young people avoid smoking. But, instead of preaching about the dangers, our dedicated youth workers work with schoolchildren and young adults to produce a two-minute short films that discourage their peers from smoking.

“Throughout the workshops, they are provided with information about all aspects of cigarettes – from the health dangers to the production methods and child labour exploitation.

“Their films and hard work is then celebrated at our annual Cut Films Awards show.”

"Like many of my friends, I tried smoking when I was around 13 or 14 but I never took up the habit full time and Cut Films helped to keep it that way."
Zaboor Chaudhry, former Cut Films student

With cuts coming thick and fast to UK smoking cessation services, projects like Cut Films play a key role in minimising the long-term impact on our under pressure NHS whose current bill for smoking-related health issues comes in at and estimated £5.2 billion per year.

One past student was Zaboor Chaudhry, 19, who took part in the course whilst studying media production at Harrow College:

“Like many of my friends, I tried smoking when I was around 13 or 14 but I never took up the habit full time and Cut Films helped to keep it that way. I can see how it might become addictive. I’ve seen it first hand with my friends, many of my friends actually.

“One of my closest friends used to smoke 20 a day but since I took part in the project, he’s cut back to just two. It’s baby steps really. He can’t just quit but still, it’s a big improvement and hopefully, one day soon, he’ll be able to quit completely.”

The project has had such a lasting impression on Zaboor that he has since become a Cut Films youth worker himself.

“It is incredible to see the impact our project has had on people like Zaboor,” Paula concludes.

“Although the uptake of smoking in the UK has fallen dramatically in recent years, an estimated 207,000 young people under 15 still start smoking each year, with up to a half of these children going on to become established smokers.

“Programmes like Love Island certainly do not help matters so it is essential we do everything we can to minimise the exposure of smoking and prevent the next generation from getting lung cancer.”

If you would like to hear more about our Cut Films project, visit www.cutfilms.org or contact Stacey Williams on stacey.williams@roycastle.org.

Or if you are a smoker and want help to quit, sign up to our free online forum – Quit Support.

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